Analytical Note, August 2005

Some considerations on acceding to the GSTP Agreement and joining the Third Round of GSTP Negotiations

In the São Paulo Declaration of 16 June 2004, developing country Ministers gathered at  UNCTAD XI have agreed to launch a Third Round of trade negotiations among participants  to the General System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).

The relevance of the GSTP Agreement as a unique South-South trade instrument cannot  be overstated. Indeed, the GSTP Agreement2 is a fully WTO-compatible3, intergovernmental  instrument exclusively made of developing and least developed countries4 members of the  Group of 77 and China.

Discussions under the new Round of negotiations have been taking place under the  auspices of a GSTP Negotiating Committee. Under that Committee, two subsidiary groups  have been established and entrusted with the negotiations of the two pillars of the GSTP. The  first is the Negotiating Group on Rule-Making, which is mainly responsible for discussions  aimed at improving of rules of origin. The second is the Negotiating Group on Market  Access, which hosts discussions regarding the exchange of market access concessions among  participants.

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